Bills Sign Linebacker Who Made Key Play That Sent Rams to Super Bowl

Travin Howard

Travin Howard runs onto the field before the NFC Championship game in 2022.

The Buffalo Bills are adding some experience to their linebacking corps, signing a veteran whose big play helped send the Los Angeles Rams to Super Bowl LVI.

Jordan Schultz of The Score reported on May 13 that the Bills signed 27-year-old linebacker Travin Howard to a one-year deal. The Bills had given Howard a tryout at the recently completed rookie minicamp, Ryan Talbot of reported, and he did enough to earn a contract.

As Talbot noted, Howard had gotten some interest in free agency, making a visit with the Dallas Cowboys, but now will compete for a spot on a changing linebacking corps in Buffalo.

Rams Linebacker Could Compete for Role in Buffalo

Travin Howard came to the Rams as a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, spending his first season on the practice squad. He appeared in 29 games over the following three seasons, making a total of 44 tackles with one interception.

Howard made his mark in the postseason, intercepting San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game in 2022 to send the Rams to the Super Bowl, where they would later defeat the Cincinnati Bengals.

As Talbot noted, Howard’s last season was cut short by a groin injury that limited him to just one game.

Howard will have the chance to compete for a role on the Bills, but will have some competition. The Buffalo News noted that he played mostly a reserve role with the Rams while also playing on special teams, but would have some competition for that role in Buffalo. The Bills in March re-signed linebacker and special teams ace Tyler Matakevich to a two-year deal, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter.

Bills Making Changes at Linebacker

The Bills have undergone some changes at linebacker this offseason, losing Pro Bowler Tremaine Edmunds to free agency. They also used a second-day draft pick on Tulane linebacker Dorian Williams, who earned some praise from Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

“He’s a tackle machine, he’s very athletic,” Beane said of the No. 91 overall pick. “We’ll start him outside, we like to make them somewhat interchangeable. This system is more complex than the one he’s coming from. Mentally from a football foundation, he’s got more ground to cover here. Year 1 we’ll probably keep him outside.”

Williams also expressed hope that he could play a big role with the Bills next season.

“I feel like I’m a high character guy, for my play on the field I feel like the film speaks for itself, going sideline to sideline, making plays in coverage and getting guys on the ground, and making plays to get the ball back for the offense, and that’s what this is all about,” Williams said, via USA Today’s Bills Wire.

In a preview of the linebacking room for the upcoming season, The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia predicted that another young player — 2022 draft pick Terrel Bernard — could be in line for a bigger role in the upcoming season.

“Milano will start alongside the winner of a summer-long competition. Considering Bernard was a 2022 third-round pick, he’s likely the favorite to win the job, but he’ll compete against [Tyrell] Dodson, veteran A.J. Klein and even second-year [Baylon] Spector,” Buscaglia wrote.

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